U.S. pork inventory’s first year-over-year decline since 2014

An ag economist is reacting to the bullish hogs and pigs report.

The March numbers showed total U.S. inventory three percent lower than last quarter, and two percent lower than a year ago.

Western Illinois professor Jason Franken notes that it is the first year-over-year decline since 2014, with spring and summer farrowing intentions down. Not only that, but cold storage is also on the decline.

“There still appears to be plenty of room in cold storage. According to the USDA cold storage report, cold stocks of pork on February 28th are up seven percent from the previous month, but down 24 percent from a year ago,” Franken states. “Poultry stocks are down three percent from the prior month and fourteen percent from a year ago, while beef is down two percent from the prior month, but up three percent from last year.”

USDA expects the average American will eat more than 50 pounds of pork this year, the highest since 1981, and while pork exports are down ten percent on the year, they are expected to pick up later this year.


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